Several states plan to drop the GED because of cost

17 Apr

 

Moi wrote in Closing the door on some futures: Increasing the cost of a GED:

 

Moi wrote in The GED as a door to the future:

 

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to the July 24, 2011 NPR report, School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden by Claudio Sanchez and Linda Wertheimer, “Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don’t make it to graduation.” http://www.npr.org/2011/07/24/138653393/school-dropout-rates-adds-to-fiscal-burden

 

There are many reasons why kids drop out of school. Kate Convissor lists the following reasons in the EduGuide article, Why Kids Drop Out of School:

 

While the reasons kids drop out vary, the following are six important risk factors:

 

  1. Academic difficulty and failure. Struggling in school and failing classes is one of the main reasons teens drop out, and this pattern often shows up early. Students who fail eighth grade English or math, for example, are seventy-five percent more likely to drop out of high school.

  2. Poor attendance. Teens who struggle in school are also absent a lot, and along with academic failure, absenteeism is an important future predictor for dropping out. As with the previous example, students who are absent for twenty percent of their eighth grade year (one day per week) are also highly likely to drop out in high school.

  3. Being held back (retention). Linked to academic difficulty, students who are held back and who are older than the kids in their grade also tend to drop out.

  4. Disengagement from school. Many kids who drop out say that school was boring and teachers did little to connect learning to real life. They didn’t feel invested in their school and they didn’t feel that adults seemed interested in them or their high school experience.

  5. Transition to a new school. A poor transition from the smaller, more protected environment of middle school to the anonymity of a high school can cause a teen to have difficulty catching up-and some kids never do.

  6. Other life factors. Pregnancy, family problems, and financial difficulties are all factors that distract a student from schoolwork and make keeping up more challenging. http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2132/

 

Because many entry level jobs require at a minimum a high school diploma, the General Education Development Test or GED is often substituted for the high school diploma to show that an individual has reached a basic level of education achievement. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/17/the-ged-as-a-door-to-the-future/

 

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/02/closing-the-door-on-some-futures-increasing-the-cost-of-a-ged/

 

Heather Hollingsworth writes in the Huffington Post article, States Dropping GED As Test Price Spikes:

 

 

Several dozen states are looking for an alternative to the GED high school equivalency test because of concerns that a new version coming out next year is more costly and will no longer be offered in a pencil and paper format.

 

The responsibility for issuing high school equivalency certificates or diplomas rests with states, and they’ve relied on the General Education Development exam since soon after the test was created to help returning World War II veterans.

 

But now 40 states and the District of Columbia are participating in a working group that’s considering what’s available besides the GED, and two test makers are hawking new exams.

 

“It’s a complete paradigm shift because the GED has been the monopoly. It’s been the only thing in town for high school equivalency testing. It’s kind of like Kleenex at this point,” said Amy Riker, director of high school equivalency testing for Educational Testing Service, which developed one of the alternative tests.

 

Last month, New York, Montana and New Hampshire announced they were switching to a new high school equivalency exam, and California officials began looking into amending regulations to drop the requirement that the state only use the GED test. Missouri has requested bids from test makers and plans to make a decision this month. Several others states, including Massachusetts, Maine, Indiana and Iowa, are making plans to request information about alternative exams.

 

Meanwhile, Tennessee and New Jersey are exploring offering more than one test.

 

“The national situation is definitely fluid,” said Tom Robbins, Missouri’s director of adult education and high school equivalency, noting that other states plan to use the GED for now and bid later.

 

The pushback comes as GED Testing Service prepares to introduce a new version of the exam in January. In the first revamp since for-profit Pearson Vue Testing acquired a joint ownership interest in the nonprofit Washington-based GED Testing Service, the cost of the test is doubling to $120. That’s led to a case of sticker shock for test takers, nonprofits and states. Some states subsidize some or all of the expense of the exam, while others add an administrative fee. The new GED test would cost $140 to take in Missouri if the state sticks with it.

 

Kirk Proctor, of the Missouri Career Center, said the organization is looking for a way to cover the increased test cost for students participating in a GED preparation and job training program he oversees. He said his students can’t come up with $140, noting they need help paying for the current, cheaper test….

 

Competitors responded with a paper version and a cheaper base price, although GED Testing Service said its price includes services the other two test makers don’t. The alternative exams’ makers also said they will work with states to find ways to combine scores from the GED with their new exams so students who have passed some sections of the current GED won’t be forced to start from scratch. GED Testing Service said that would undermine the validity of a state’s equivalency credential or diploma.

 

Trask also said he feared the competing exams would be confusing for colleges and employers. But states considering switching say they’ll put more emphasis on the equivalency credential or diploma they issue rather than the test taken to earn it.

 

Art Ellison, who leads the Bureau of Adult Education in New Hampshire, called the sudden choice in the exams “the new reality of adult education.” His state and Montana are switching to HiSET, a $50 test that the Educational Testing Service, or ETS, is offering. Both states said cost influenced their decision, with Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau proclaiming in a news release that residents “looking to improve their economic situation by obtaining a high school equivalency diploma should not have to overcome a significant financial barrier in order to achieve that goal.”

 

Ellison also noted that a paper option was important because many students in adult education classes lack the skills needed to take a computer-based test and that it will take time to beef up the courses to add that training.

 

Meanwhile, New York chose California-based CTB/McGraw-Hill’s new Test Assessing Secondary Completion, or TASC. Developers said it will range in price from $50 to $60.

 

Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said in a news release that without the change, New York would have had to pay the GED test maker twice as much or limit the number of test takers because state law bars residents from being charged to take the equivalency exam. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/states-dropping-ged_n_3088855.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

 

In The GED as a door to the futurehttps://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/the-ged-as-a-door-to-the-future/, moi looked at question of whether a GED might open employment doors for some who have failed to complete their high school education. There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to the July 24, 2011 NPR report, School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden by Claudio Sanchez and Linda Wertheimer, “Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don’t make it to graduation.” http://www.npr.org/2011/07/24/138653393/school-dropout-rates-adds-to-fiscal-burden See, More Than Half Of Older High School Dropouts Not Employed Today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/high-school-dropouts-unemployment_n_1291210.html?ref=education&ir=Education

 

Unless, children are given a meaningful education which provides them with basic skills to adapt to a changing environment, the education system is producing a permanent underclass which will not be able to participate in the next “new, new thing.”

 

The real issue is reducing the number of high school dropouts.

 

 

Related:

 

Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout https://drwilda.com/2012/11/19/studies-lack-of-support-and-early-parenthood-cause-kids-to-dropout/

 

Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students https://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/

 

 

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